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French legislative elections: Farmers rely on Europe, but are tempted by far right

Although the far-right won a large majority in rural France in the European elections on 9 June, French farmers are not its strongest supporters.

And while some are tempted to vote for the National Rally (RN) in the upcoming snap legislative elections, others doubt its ability to work for them and their interests. European subsidies, though criticised, are essential to their survival.

At the entrance to Braslou, a village of 315 inhabitants in southern Touraine, central France, the street sign with the commune's name is still upside down.

It's been like that ever since the farmers' anger set the French and European countryside ablaze earlier this year, a way of showing that "we're walking on our heads," explained one of those who took part in the upheaval in Braslou and the surrounding villages.

Mathieu, a grain farmer, took over from his father to lead a fairly large 270-hectare farm. He is one of a dozen farmers in the commune and also runs an agricultural contracting business, lending his machinery to other farms. A Jeunes Agriculteurs (Young Farmers, JA) union member, politically, he identifies with the RN of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella.

On 9 June, Mathieu voted for the far right. He did so because he deplores that not all European farmers are subject to the same standards, that certain chemicals banned in France are allowed for use in Spain, and that poorly controlled Ukrainian poultry has invaded the French market.

"I'm not against imports, as long as trade is fair and labelling transparent," Mathieu told Euronews.

However, on Sunday, he is not against voting to reappoint Fabienne Colboc, a member of parliament from Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance.

According to Mathieu, Colboc is "accessible, often on the